Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sweet land of liberty...

I am an American. I want to get that out there first and foremost. I am not a Republican, not an Independent, not a Conservative, not any kind of hyphenated American. I am American, period, and proud of it. I am only 3 generations off the boat, within the past century, parts of my family have come to this country. Ellis Island... I can only imagine what joy they experienced.
Today, is what we as a Nation are about. I am conservative in my views on life, so needless to say, you may know who I didn't vote for. I have heard it all about conservatives, niave, Bible huggers, narrow minded, uneducated, ect. (The one thing I will debate is the uneducated. I have spent more time studying this election than most libral people I know.) That's not what this is about. THERE WILL BE NO PITTY PARTY THAT I WILL BE ATTENDING.

I believe in the Bible and the Constitution. I believe the Original Constitution and Declaration of Independence of this great Nation was inspired by God through men that were in tune with God. Sound familiar? You can make jokes about our Founding Fathers actually being "Founding Fathers" and their beliefs on slavery or what have you, but they were still in tune with God. The same holds true with the Bible... David had a man killed to take his wife, but God still called him a man after his own heart. Peter denied Jesus, not once but three times publicly, yet told him he is the rock and the gates of hell will not prevail against him. I am not saying that the Constitution is equal to the Bible, just that I believe that it was a gift that God gave us. I am just saying that God can work through anyone or anything.

This is the time as a Nation and as an individual, we need to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. This great Nation is a gift from God. I know that we have steered far from the course of our founding fathers, but this Country is still a gift that we need to defend. Those of us that are Christians, believe that God will provide and His will be done. We believe He answers every prayer, some yes, some no, and some now is not the time. We as Christians have all prayed the prayers for life's necessities at one time or another. We all have stories of how He has provided.

My question to you is...When God gave you that car that you so desperately need to get to work,when you didn't think you had a chance, do you not check the oil or put gas in it? When you thought you couldn't have children and you were blessed with a child through some miracle...Did you not feed that child, clothe & bathe it? When you didn't have money for groceries one week and someone dropped some food of at your house...Did you not have to cook it or put it on a plate and feed yourself?

God gave us this country with responsibilities. We do not get to worship, when we want & how we want, just because. WE STILL HAVE TO WORK FOR IT. Will it end? Sure someday, the Bible says so, but Jesus, himself, told the parable of the man who put hid his talent under the rock and did nothing with it. He called the man wicked and lazy. We were put here for a reason. We still render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, just like the Jews did. Our country, just like Israel was a gift to the Jews, is a gift to us. I believe in power of faith & God, but I'm not going to walk out in front of a bus on the interstate. There is a fine line between stupidity and pure faith, but the one thing I know is that if we do nothing...we will be judged wicked and lazy.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. - Declaration of Independence

These words should still ring true to our hearts, just as the day they were written. Notice Creator is capitalized, just like God is capitalized? Coincidence, I think not. Today, though, we need to pay attention to the last sentence. These men in power have derived their powers from the PEOPLE that they govern. If WE the PEOPLE, stand up for what WE believe, then WE as a nation still have a chance. If WE the people are strong in our FAITH, then WE shall prevail for as long us God wants us to prevail. When the Jews were in slavery in Egypt, did they just give up? Imagine if the Jews just quit during the times of the Roman rule. We are promised our Promised Land, but we need to take care of what our Creator has given us now. I just warn people of "putting their talent under a rock" because we all know that someday this will come to an end. Lest we be judged, just like the wicked.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I'm back from my blogging hiatus.
The events of this past weekend, I can't contain myself. This weekend was a dream come true and so far in life I have learned these events do not happen very often. To most people from the outside looking in, the events of this weekend as no real big deal. This is for those parents that have lived life with a personal passion, maybe something you wish you would have pursued or something just because of age you had to give up. Face it, we're not getting any younger. At least I'm not.
Rewind the clock to February 19th, 2001 in Fairfield, Ohio. More exactly, Mercy Fairfield Hospital around noon, my wife was asleep (thanks to the power of medicine) and I was sitting alone in the hospital room. About eight hours from one of the greatest moments of my life, I sat there pondering what this little boy that we were about to be blessed with, will be like. A moment I will never forget. I sat in the chair, feet hanging over one end of the chair & my head hanging over the other arm gazing up at the ceiling with an occasional glimpse over to my wife when she moved. I sat thinking about what he was going to be like. Will he be into sports? Will he like the same things I like? Will he even like me? What is life going to be like 2 months from now? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
I grew up loving sports. I loved playing them; watching them. I had talents in all major sports. I could hang pretty well in football, basketball, baseball & soccer. My first love, though, was soccer, the beautiful game as it is called. It is a sport that isn't appreciated by many, unless you really understand the skill involved to be GOOD at it. I have been playing since I was in 2nd grade. It wasn't until I was in about 4th / 5th grade that I became really good at it and realized I could have a future in it. Enough about those details, that's not what this is really about. Sitting in that chair, I hoped, almost prayed that he would love soccer. Selfish, I know but what Dad hasn't done that, right?... hoped his son would be as talented or more so than themselves in something they have done.
I am fortunate. My son is more talented than I am. I have had the blessing of coaching him five of the six soccer seasons that he has played. I didn't coach one season and mid way through the season I told my wife "I quit doing this parent thing, I want to coach again." I love coaching the game and my son loves me coaching him. The staying after practice and working on drills, just the two of us. Going up to the fields in the summer just to kick around, just the two of us. The drive to and from the field talking about the game or how to do something better. He actually looks up to me (not much longer though). This is the one thing that the two of us have poured a lot of time in effort into.
This weekend we were in a big tournament. This is the first team that has been good enough to make it to a tournament. The first two games were awesome. Josiah scored the first goal of the first game. They came back and scored two more. It was 2-1 going into the forth period. We scored in the forth to tie. Josiah shot on goal, the goalie dived on the ball and then it squirted out from under the goalie, Josiah took it and shot...GOAL!!! The ref then blew the final whistle...we won! The next game Josiah scored the only goal in the game & we were guaranteed a spot in the finals. We lost our third game, playing shorthanded, but we still qualified for the Final game. The final was a nail bitter, but we won 2-0. We had won the Championship! At 7 years old my son accomplished something that I had never. I had played on all sorts of sports teams from football, basketball to soccer, but never had I been on a Championship team. I won awards, myself, but never as a team to be called the Champions.
OK, I know, it was a U8 Tournament, not the World Cup or Olympics or something, but he has a taste. At 7 years old he has a taste of what its like to be a star of a team, but not only just the star, but a Champion. He ran to the side lines jumping up and down, headed straight for me and he hugged me exclaiming "We are the Champions!" "We did it, buddy, we did it." I responded. This was a season of hard work by both of us, and I couldn't have been prouder of the boys. Coaching this age is fun...and I'm sure I don't have much longer to coach him. Dealing with the "politics" of coaching older kids, doesn't interest me. So this is a moment I have to savor with my son. I am sure I will have moments like this with my daughter. As a matter of fact she ran across the field after the game was over all I heard was her little voice yelling like she does after every game "DADDY, DADDY" Then I get a big hug. At that moment in life, I don't think I have ever felt that good. I'll let you in on a secret...I stepped away from the crowd for a moment to pick up the water bottles and trash on our sideline...I was trying hard not to get choked up. I wasn't just proud of my son, but all the boys. If my son keeps going in soccer, that won't be his last, I'm sure. For some of those boys, that may be the only time...and I helped them get there. Living vicariously through each one of them, I guess. Every season, I get attached to each team. Next season will be hard...because this will be a hard team to forget.

Josiah is so proud of his trophy, he took it to school today. To be honest, I am proud of my trophy too, I think I'll take it to my office tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Daddy's little girl.

I have eluded to Ella's sense of humor before. We went for a "Sunday Drive" yesterday and on our way home I caught the end of Ella & Josiah's conversation in the back. Josiah responded to whatever it was that she had said with " So you think you're funny..."
"Yep, I am funny." She replied.

I wanna giggle...

Just a thought. I came home the other day, my daughter was waiting for me, just like any other day. Today she had this little ornery grin, that I love so much. This started a game of me chasing her down the hallway (making funny noises and looking equally stupid, I'm sure). She thought it was funny. The chase ended on the little love seat she has in her room, and like any other chase I was concluded with me tickling her. She was just giggling up a furry. I concluded the tickle fest with a kiss on the forehead & I started to walk out of her room. She blew by me giggling and yelling "tickle me again." It hit me. Growing up stinks and at what point and time is giggling and being tickled no longer fun. I'm sure it was somewhere in the teenage years. I'm not very ticklish, but I can remember being a kid and being tickled. It was quite a rush. Now I can't stand it. Why?

I just want that reckless abandon, I guess. Where you face everything as an adventure, instead of just going through the motions of everyday.

We had a pretty busy night a week or so ago. We were going through the normal bedtime routine. Josiah had his PJ's on and was sitting on his bed with a discouraged look on his face. I asked him what was wrong. "I didn't get to play today" he responded. I immediately went into the life isn't "all fun & games" speech that every kid gets.

I was wrong. Why can't life be fun & games? I know we all have responsibilities that need to be met & we should step up to the plate so to speak. We have to be the responsible adult, but what happened to the part of us that runs down the hallway, just wanting to have some fun with people we love. What's wrong with the parent that chases there kid down the hall making weird noises while making funny faces. Why can't we be more like the kids, I just wanna giggle again.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Celebrate Christmas?

It's the most wonderful time of the quote one of the all time classic Christmas songs. I really do like this time of the year. Sometimes it just gives me the warm & fuzzies. Turn on the radio & catch some of the Christmas classics...Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald & the like. I love it. (I can do with out New Kids on the Block, Mariah Carey & such). I didn't really care much for the whole Christmas decorations until my son was born. He's still upset because we don't have lights on the outside of our house.
I guess the whole Christmas thing has always kind of confused me a bit. It ranks up there with people celebrating their birthdays. I don't really get it. Why do we celebrate our birthdays when we never really had anything to do with the whole birthing process? Kids ask your parents about what I mean. God did the whole creation part & made sure everything went well, while here on earth, your Mom did most of the work, while your Dad had his part. We just felt the pressure to move on out & I know some people that would probably wouldn't have moved out without that pressure.
Getting back to Christmas, no where in the Bible does it say remember my birthday. (Check it out). It says remember my death, burial & Resurrection. Hold on. Don't get me wrong. The whole virgin birth was a wonderful miracle of God. Most impressive, but when you look over the history of the Scriptures, God was pretty good at the whole miraculous signs and wonders thing. After all the world was created by Him, so I think He has pretty good control of the whole earthly realm. It was a fulfillment of prophecy, I know. Which makes the birth of Christ very important, but it would have just ranked up there as a great miracle without the death, burial & Resurrection. That was the purpose of the life of Jesus. I guess I just wonder why Easter seems to play second fiddle to the birth of Jesus. Without His death, burial & Resurrection, we would still be sacrificing lambs in the synagogues. There would be no "New Testament" church. Most people know the holiday was created to counter the Pagan holidays of the Winter Solstice. Not that it is a bad thing to remember something as Miraculous as the birth of the Son of God. JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON, BUT THE SEASON IS NOT THE REASON FOR JESUS.
Merry Christmas to all & to all a Good Night.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

When I get where I'm going...

It's 3 AM on Sunday. I can't go back to sleep. I just got the call my Grandfather died. It wasn't a suprise or out of the blue, we were prepared as much as you could be prepared for something like that. My mom told me how it happened, and to me, this maybe the greatest story ever told. I will preface this by saying that my Grandfather has had health problems on and off for the past few years. He has been in and out of the nursing home, and this past week hospice was able to get him home. A few years ago, my Grandmother passed away. Frances was a saint in my life, I loved her so much. That was honestly the hardest thing I have had to face.

The hospice nurse who was taking care of my Grandpa saw him staring off into the right. She told my uncle, he sees somebody. My uncle asked him what he saw. Grandpa answered "Frances." He died right after that. Wow. I can only imagine the joy my Grandpa had in seeing her again. Young and beautiful, perfection. He now gets to spend eternity with the love of his life. I can say that makes me want tow the line. There will come a day when I will get to see them again. Two people of the most influental people in my life. Next time, they won't be frail. My Grandparents will walk along side me, matching me step for step. Then I 'll get to hug them both and tell them how much I missed them.
My only regret about all this is that I wish I would have been there to tell him how much I loved him and to have him give Grandma a big hug, just from me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

feeling blue...

This isn't the first time I have written about being in a fog, a haze or being just blue. You go through life in a blur sometimes and before you know it your 33 (the same age as Jesus, that's what Josiah says) and you have a couple of young children you've been married for 11 years and you are about 25-30lbs heavier than you were when you got married. Hair isn't growing where it should grow & is growing where it shouldn't grow. I have been out of school for more years than I was in school. I am a firm believer that guys have there time of the month, and it gets more pronounced as you get older. I just get down right cranky at least a few days once a month. I feel bloated and have head aches. I think I am approaching a mid-life crisis. For the record, I believe this my second one. I went through this a few years ago. I still have the itch for an Italian sports car. I have found that I have been trying. I work out, on occasions. I have been trying to eat better, on occasions. I take vitamins, on occasions. Trying to find that fountain of youth.

You know, sometimes I think guys get the raw deal. We go through life, we have to be "the Man". The emotional rock. Whenever bad things happen to families, the guy is usually the last person to be thought of. One of the lowest points in my life was when we lost our first baby to a miscarriage. Of course my concern was for my wife, and so was all the people who knew us. I would go places with out her and everyone would ask how she was doing. I appreciated that, the concern for my wife. I really did. It wasn't until a month or so later a friend of ours asked me, "How are you doing?" I was doing pretty crappy to be honest, I second guessed everything. Did I do something that caused it, should she have just taken it easy. I should have never let her carry in the groceries, I kept thinking, did I do this? Not to mention I was sad, really, really sad. I was looking forward to having a child. Would we be able to have anymore? That was the first time someone asked me if I was okay. To be honest I just I gave the stereotypical, "I'm hanging in there." response. I didn't go into all the details. It was just nice to have someone concerned for me. Sorry for being such a downer...that's not really what this is all about...I got side tracked.

I guess the main reason for my entry today is something kind of funny. I have gotten to the stage in my life as long as I am clean & don't smell bad, I am good to go. I spend less and less time on my attire. I have always been told that in my prime, cough, cough, I was a bit preppy. I have since moved away from that look. My appearance has been in a metamorphosis as of late, the only hair I can sort of grow is on my face. We have dressed up as an Amish family for a costume party. The first time I have dressed up in a costume since I was 10. It was fun. I have grown the Amish beard, of which, my sister-in-law has worked into just about every other conversation I have with her. We went to church this past Sunday. I wore a pair of jeans and this blue shirt. Nothing special in my mind. On my way out of church, one of our best friends stopped me in the hall and whispered, "You look very handsome today." I can't tell you the last time someone other than my wife or someone of my mother's or grandmother's generation complimented me on my appearance. It was flattering, cause I wasn't trying to be all that, I just threw on a pair of jeans and a blue shirt. (She did ask my wife's permission first, before she made the comment, I found out later.) You know that made me feel good, a shot of confidence in this old dudes arm. I know I am not as studly as I once was, I'm a realist. It just made me think, how something so simple can make people feel good about themselves.

I also played soccer this past weekend. My sister-in-law begged me. Not indoor, not with little kids, actual grow adults on a full size field for a prolonged period of time. The mind is still in the sport. Coaching the kids helps with that, but the body has long since been passed by the mind. I know it was the first time I played with these people, so I was bound to be off. It seemed like my body was always one step behind. Of course, I think my sister-in-law made me out to be the second coming of Pele, with these people. Thanks a ton. During the second half I got off a shot that I honestly can say ways the prettiest shot on goal I think I have ever had. The ball bent over the goalies head and bent back in the far corner at the top of the goal. It was a miss, just narrowly. Had that went in, I think it would have been my prettiest goal 33 years old. How 'bout that. I have scored a lot of goals in my lifetime, but this did not happen when I was 13 or 14 or in my prime when I was 18, but at 33. I can muster up just enough to be as good once, as I once was. I think you learn that working hard isn't always the key, thinking harder and working less is best. So I guess some good things do come with age.

why in the world do people want to get married...seriously?

I know my title sounds funny, if you know me. I am sure the first time my wife sees the title...I may be in trouble. (A word of advice for all married guys or guys soon to be married, my wife knows I love to sleep on the couch...remote in hand. So for as long as I have been married, I have never been sent to the couch, instead she makes me stay in bed and cuddle. I'm not a cuddly type person. When they are mad at you already know the cookie jar has been put up out of your reach (you know what I mean), so I figure this is a win, win. One way I have out smarted the female species!) Anyways back to my point.
Why do people get married? When you look at the world around you. Why? The way I figure I would be set up pretty nice if I was a single guy, never gotten married. I make my choices, no obligations to anyone else. No kids, which means no crying, nagging, begging or winning. I clean up after myself, no one else to have to clean up after. My house would be spotless and so would my cars, no Humm. (If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a bit OCD when it comes to some things.) This really isn't for the divorced people or the people that are single, this is really about those of us who are married and have been for a while. I believe that marriage isn't for everyone, neither is sushi, for that matter.

For me, I really don't ask the question for myself, but I ask it for my wife. I know why I am married, I snagged the first one that could put up with me. I didn't let go, she had no choice. I would still be stalking her today if she didn't marry me. I think it is easy for me to answer the question, but I sometimes ask what does she see in me?

I tend to be own worst critic...I am very hard on myself... I get very frustrated with myself... I over analyze the way I play Monopoly or any game for that matter (I suck the life out it)... I am a gracious loser, I am used to losing...I can't stand dust or dirt on anything...I can't stand a dirty car... I do not like lights on... I prefer the dark... I like to sometimes sit in front of the TV, brain dead...I do not like it when people do not dry their feet off when they get out of the shower...I hate finger & toe nails...I hate hair in the drain...Feet creep me out...I have a hyper-sensitive sense of smell...All this and for some reason she still sticks around... Why?

When it comes to that question, all the chick flicks tend to have part of it nailed down. Get your answers from Hollywood, that's what I say. It is about having someone who loves you for you. It is about having someone to talk to, someone to share things with. Not being all alone, Blah, blah, blah... That all has something to do with it, but why would you go through the rut of everyday life for some feelings? Every marriage gets in a rut. Get up, wake up the kids, make breakfast, go to work, clean house,have dinner, put the kids to bed, fall asleep on the it over again the next day. Why go through it? Just so you don't feel cold at night, or that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get every once and a while.
Everyone, from the rich & famous to the homeless on the street, is pretty insignificant. I know that hurts. The earth would not stop rotating, the sun would not refuse to shine, the moon would not quit glowing, if any one of us were not here tomorrow. It is the truth. The world would go on.
The reason people are married is that we need that other person. That person knows me better than I probably know myself. I exist to the human race, because of them. They are the witness to my life, that I actually spent time on this earth. My wife is my journal, she has had a front row seat to all the good & bad, highs & lows. The fact that someone does care about the good and the bad. God knows why we are here, but it is human nature to feel needed, and it is because of that void we need our spouse. That is why. The warm and fuzzies are just the perks to the job.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life's list...

You hear it a lot when you are in High School... "Have goals, have dreams. Some of the most accomplished people have made lists of dreams & aspirations, then have methodicaly checked them off through out their lives." We have all heard the stories and I am sure most of have the "list." It may not be written down or posted to your refrigerator, they may just be listed in your head. Many of them, I believe, have to do with accomplishment. Owning a house by my twenty-fifth birthday, married by twenty-six, or retired by fifty. The older I get the shorter my list for accomplishments becomes, sometimes I just want to survive 'til I am fifty. There are certain things I will not be doing, for sure. I will not be making any professional soccer team and I will always be any Indy Car driver trapped in a mini-van. These things are just not going to happen. I have done some things on my list... married my high school sweetheart, spent the night in a lighthouse, visit the beach at least every-other year, owned a few of the cars on "my list of favorites." Things like that.

As you get older your list starts to change, or evolve. The funny thing is it has less & less to do about you or what you want. It has more & more to do about what you would like to accomplish for or with your kids, family or spouse. I guess they call this maturity. There are many memories of special, memorable places that I have been with my wife & kids. When I found out I was going to be a father, after the initial freak out of raising a child, I started thinking about the things and events that we would get to share together. When I found out it was a boy, after the skipping down the street like Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain... my mind started to wander off...playing catch, first baseball game, first time driving a go-cart...stuff like that. This was all brought about by the events of October 6th, 2007. Again another date that will be forgotten, but an event I will never forget. This was Josiah's first trip to a College Football game. We have been to many Cincinnati Reds games, a few with Mommy & myself, and a few with it being just the two of us. We have had the father-son baseball experience. This was Big-time. A bar mitzva for a Michigan fan, his first trip to The Big House, Michigan Stadium. Just the two of us, father & son time. As you may know, I am not a tall man, but I was walking pretty tall the five blocks to the Stadium. When I saw his smile when the players ran out, jumped up to touch "the banner" while "Hail to the Victors" was being played by the marching band. I'm pretty sure a tear rolled down my cheek (it may have been sweat, after all it was 90degrees in Ann Arbor in October, but I'm in the moment of the memory). I have been to many games not sure how many, the first time with my wife was pretty cool, but this was awesome. Next time we watch the game on a Saturday afternoon, he can say he has been there...pretty cool. These are the things you dream of as parent, check one off my list.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I watched Spiderman...

"With power comes great responsibility"...a quote from Spiderman - the movie. This isn't some great proverb that was just established by some Hollywood writer in the late 90's or whenever that was...this is something that has been handed down from generations. I have been thinking about this for a while. A beer company just recently had the same idea...MAN LAWS. I love this idea. There should be some form of unwritten, or maybe even written code. Because I don't want to be sued when I make N.Y. Times best sellers list, I have decided to name mine...Man Code. There are different by laws, orders & stages of the Man Code. The one I want to introduce today is the "I Have a Daughter Order" of the Man Code. The "I have a Daughter Order" of which I am a card carrying member, allows you to certain inalienable rights that other Men in the Man Code are not privy to. First off you must have a daughter...duh. Please understand that first off, I am going to be really hard on my son when it comes to dating & relationships. More & likely harder than I will be on my daughter. That's for a later discussion, coming up very soon. As a part of the "Daughter Code," you have the right to inflict bodily harm to another individual insulting a young woman or girl. For example the other day, I was in traffic. Three lanes wide & I was in the middle lane. Off to my left was a motorcycle. It was sharp...I was totally checking out the bike. I want one, it was my favorite color of blue & I was trying to figure out what it was. I noticed off to my left a Dodge pick up truck. He had stopped about 3-4 car lengths back from the car in front of him. Then the guy started yelling across my lane of traffic. All I heard was "Blah, blah, blah, baby...blah, blah." The "baby" thing threw me a bit. I looked to my left. I noticed the blond hair flowing out from under the helmet on the person riding the motorcycle. The dude I thought riding the motorcycle was actually a young girl ( approx. 20-21). This made me furious. Let me preface this by saying, a girl on a motorcycle is pretty cool, but someday that could be my daughter that this overweight, middle aged neanderthal would be "cat calling." So for the sake of that girls dad, Man Code would have allowed me to get out of my car, walk up to that dude and cauliflower his ear. Good old fashioned 1920's bare fisted boxer style punch to the ear. Free of charge, no fear of repercussions on me. All I have to do is show the "I have a daughter card." On a side note...why do guys "cat call"? Has that truly worked for anyone? I have never heard anyone say..."Yep, I was just walking down the street & he was with a bunch of his work buddies & he yelled "Here I am, what are your other two wishes" I knew we were going to be together forever."

This also leads me to another topic of the "Man Code." Men have always been mesmerized by the beauty of women. It has been man's number one down fall. If there is something I can not stand, are guys that stare at pretty women. Not just look at them, but down right ogle them. I find it almost comical to watch. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. The one that stands out in the crowd, even the women are looking. There is a way to appreciate the beauty of the human race, without attaching your eyes to them with Velcro. After all, it is a sin, if you lust! The way I think it should be done is with respect. We have all received the emails, "it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are..." THIS IS THE SCIENCE OF ADMIRING THE OPPOSITE SEX, without being an idiot or more importantly doing it with out lusting. A glance & your imagination puts all the pieces together, no double look, no staring, no dwelling. Just like that. Not only that with this method, everyone is attractive, well almost everyone.
More Man Code to come...

Ella's Imagination...

"Awww..right" is Ella's favorite phrase. I love the way she says it. She has really developed a sense of humor. We have a Michigan football helmet magnet that usually is on our refrigerator, but for some "little" reason has migrated to the front of our dishwasher. The magnet is about 8 inches big. So it is pretty good sized. Ella, my wife & I were in the kitchen. Ella pointed at the magnet and said "Go Michigan." It was cute. She had a squishy ball in her hand. Ella pulled the magnet of the dishwasher with her right hand & held it up to the side of her head (just about a perfect fit) , and with the ball in her left hand, turned to me and said "Ready, catch Daddy." My little football player...

Monday, September 24, 2007

where has the time gone...

"Kids grow up so fast..." "Appreciate them while they are little." "Before you know it they are in school, next day they are driving and then next day they are off to college" Those of us with children have had all these things said to us during the pregnancy stage or our kids baby stages. I used to respond that by saying "Whatever, your not the one up every few hours and you're not the one changing nasty diapers." Seriously, the diaper thing can get pretty disgusting. How does something so little, produce so much? I used to think that was just what old people said, because they missed their kids. (When they were little kids I'm sure, no one ever says that they miss their kids in the teenage years.)

I guess I am now finding these to be great truths. We have taken Josiah to Kings Island this year, he is 6 years old and can ride some of the big coasters. Myself being a coaster junkie, is pretty cool to ride with your son. Josiah has taken a fancy for sports. He loves ESPN, if it is a sport, he will watch it. He loves to watch football & loves to play. The two of us can spend hours just throwing back and forth. He can throw a nice tight spiral. I was throwing about 15 to 20 yards and he was catching them. He was also catching them while running. This is REAL football, not a Nerf, mind you. We have been playing sports together for a while, but for some reason I recently came to some realization that this is odd. I am throwing a real football with my son, it seems like just yesterday I was thrilled when he could just kick a ball. How did we get to this point and so fast? He's in First Grade & he is almost as tall as me. I just don't wanna wake up some day and bam he is in high school.
I dropped him off at school this morning. I leaned over gave him a kiss on the top of his head & he turned and gave me a hug. Nothing different than any other morning, but this morning he had a somber look on his face. "What's wrong, buddy?" I asked. "Daddy I didn't get to spend much time with you this morning and yesterday." he replied. He still thinks I'm cool & he still likes me. Someday he'll wake up and realize Dad isn't as cool & his friends will be more important, they all do. I just don't want to be so wrapped up in work & the world around me that I forget that my kids actually like me right now, not just for my wallet or car keys. It is not worth it. They like spending time with me. After all this is the only time as an adult I can get away with playing Hot Wheels and Rescue Heroes and race the shopping cart through Kroger making car noises (squealing tires and the such) and people do not look at you like you are weird, they just think you are a good parent. The scary part is the older they get, the older I get. Where has the time gone?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ella Speak...

Ella came out of the house the other day..."Squeal walking side, mommy, squeal walking side..." Mommy was a bit confused by this one. Ella started pointing and exclaimed "Squeal walking side!" ... There was a squirrel on the side walk.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

why men love cars.

One of the biggest revelations in my life was my selective hearing philosophy of men, but just recently I have come up with a new revelation about why men love cars so much. Now I know people have made the car comparison to women for decades. Most men refer to there cars as female objects, she's my baby, she's my girl...on and on.... and sometimes the car parts have been used to refer to woman's anatomy...(headlights, trunk, ect...) So this union of cars and women have been around for decades. I have recently come up with a couple of other reasons why men love cars and how cars are much like women or women are like cars...or something. Please, I am not trying to objectify woman. Women are the showcase of creation...just trying to show how some simpletons (men) work.


Just about every adult male has some story about a dealership or car shopping experience. How great of a deal they got, or how a dealer took them to the cleaners or what kind of additional equipment they got thrown in the deal. Sometimes these stories are embellished like fishing tales...just to show off your great ability to wheel & deal. It all starts by you either seeing the car in passing or someone telling you need to check out this model, it while suit your needs... So you go to the dealership, look the car over and if you everything looks okay from the outside, you take it for a test drive. Many times you step away from the car, come back at a later time or a few days later and take it for another drive. If that works out, then you go in and find out if you can afford it. You see what kind of deal the dealer will give you. Then if the "numbers" work out then you go through the whole financing deal. By this time you just want that car in your driveway. This is not the fun time. After signing your life & finances away, you finally get handed the keys, she is yours at a price.

Just about every adult male has some kind of dating story. How they dated this girl or almost dated a supermodel or how this girl stole my cassette tape collection. Sometimes these stories are embellished a bit to show off your manly prowess with the ladies. It all starts with you passing by her or somebody telling you, you need to meet so & so she has a "great personality." So you go and check them out, if everything appears to be to your liking you ask them out on a date. Then you take some time think about it , if you like them you go on another few dates. If you become really attracted to them you find that you are compatible. If the "numbers" work out, you ask if she will marry you. Usually some negotiating involved and if they say yes, you then have to start planning a wedding. By this time you just want to get to the honeymoon & beyond. This is not the fun time. After signing your life & finances away, you are finally married, she is yours at a price.


When you go to purchase a car, you have to decide what you want. Sports car or SUV, import or domestic, practical or exotic, new or used. This is a difficult decision for the many of the male population. For many they have exclusive tastes. Some guys are truck guys, some are sports car guys, some just need a car to get from point a to point b don't care if she has some bondo, & for some it is about the whether or not the car gets them there with the least amount of thought & headache. There are some guys who just love being under the hood doing all the maintenance themselves. Every free moment they are adding or upgrading parts. Whatever the car needs, he will do it himself. Then there are others who like the exotics that need to be service by licensed mechanics, and that can not be done at your garage at home. It depends on your personality

When you are looking for a wife, you have to decide what kind of woman you are compatible with. Active or relaxed, import or domestic, practical or a little higher maintenance, divorced or never married... This is difficult decision for many of the male population. For many they have exclusive tastes. Some guys date or marry woman with active lifestyles, love the outdoors, some like the sporty type, some just like women, and some like the more laid back type. Some guys love just having a girlfriend or wife. There are some guys that love showering there mate with flowers and spending every moment with them. Then there are others who like to send their mate out with the ladies, to the spa or to the mall. It depends on your personality.


This is where you find what kind of deal you made. It is in the day to day grind... When the whether is cold does it start & in the summer does the A/C work without any complaints. Now as we know, not matter how reliable the car, they all require preventive maintenance. You must change the oil, you must put in gas when close to empty & no matter how reliable the car, the tires must eventually be replaced. So it is how all the other parts work is what defines a good deal. When something does go wrong, you can't always get away with replacing parts with cheap replacement parts. It is a risk. When you put on cheap parts you don't always get the mileage that you sometimes get with quality parts. We all know that we are going to get a door ding no matter how far we park away from other cars. Unfortunately the paint is going to get scratched, sometime. For many guys the love affair of the new car stops after about a year of ownership...the no eating rule in your car is no longer enforced. Your trunk is full of everyday life junk that you clean out every other week, maybe. You get tired of making the monthly payment. You still love your car, but you know there are other cars are out there. New models that were not out when you bought yours or cars that you couldn't afford when you bought yours is now on the used market & affordable. Hang in there when it gets tough because eventually that car will be paid off & she will be yours forever. Sometimes on a nice day when you have something special planned "a night on the town" you give your car the good once over. Wax the paint, shine the tires & rims, and if your really dedicated you detail the engine of your pride and joy. Always a good idea every now and again. The truth is that if you are a real car guy, you may look around in appreciation of the others out there, but you find that car that you are in love with everyday, has your "smell" in it, has that coffee stain on the seat or the door ding that some kid toy put there in your garage. The seat has conformed to your ever changing shape, that's were you want to park your bottom when the road throws you curves.

This is where you find what kind of marriage you have. It is in the day to day grind...when financially things get tough or you can't go on the cruise for your anniversary because you found out you are having a baby. Now we know as guys, no mater how easy going your spouse is, they all require some "preventive maintenance." You must remember birthdays, anniversaries and on occasions just surprise them. You get out of your marriage what you put into it. When we first get married, we are still in that impressing them phase and as time goes one, we forget or become comfortable. Sometimes things go wrong, sometimes your fault sometimes not. It is how you try to solve these problems. Do you try to fix it yourself or do you have to "pay" to have it fixed. We all become comfortable in our relationships, sometimes take them for granted, even though we shouldn't. Every now and again, you should clean yourself up and take your wife on the town, to make her feel important, your pride & joy. Everyday, you get up and they are there for you when life throws you curves...

a heart of gold with a wallet containing just a penny...

we were on our way into the grocery store the other day & Josiah informed me that we needed to call grandpa. I inquired as to why... he had just spent a few days at his grandparents house & spent sometime at his grandpa's garage. Josiah said that a older man came into the shop to talk to grandpa about his car. Josiah said that the older man had said if it was this much to fix his car he could afford it, but if it was more he would not be able to get his car fixed. Josiah said he needed to call grandpa to find out how much it was going to be to fix his car, 'cause if it was more than the old man could afford, Josiah wanted to sent grandpa money to cover the difference, so the old man could get his car fixed.
Just when I get frustrated with whining or complaining that a normal 6 year old does, and I can't stand no more, he is famous for just hitting me over the head with a brick. Putting the needs of others over your own wants. Wow what a lesson. We as adults think we have it all figured out, listen to us children, we know what we a talking about, we have life experience...blah, blah, blah...
It is a great blessing to be that way. I can remember I was about 12 or 13 sitting in church listening to a sermon on giving, but I will never forget what he said. "If you give with your left hand, your right hand should not have any idea of what your left hand has done, and after a while your left hand should forget about what it did." It struck a cord with me. I came up with the idea that: The true measure of giving is that there is no measure. No, I did this for you or I gave this much. If you measure how much you give than it is not truly giving. As a matter of fact when my wife & I give to the church (including tithe) we give in cash only, no checks. Because at the end of the year, I don't want to know how much and if I claim it on my taxes, is that really giving? Does God send me an end of the year statement for all the blessings he has given me? Then why should I get one from the church?
Be careful with that heart of gold, son. Keep care of it, because so many people over the period of time start of with that same heart, but life gets in the way and that heart gets tarnished & before you know it, it is gone. A heart like that is not learned, it is instilled into every one of us, just some people don't know how to listen to it. There will be people who take advantage of it, unfortunately, and it will hurt, sometimes a lot. But the reward you get in knowing that you have been there for someone when no one else was, is a reward that you can not put a price tag on. With a heart like that you will be a valuable friend to someone someday. To be that person that people know you can call any day or night and will be there for them. Satisfaction, guaranteed... Listen to the children sometime, you might learn something.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


josiah on getting rid of me... I come from a rather functional divorced family, so I have a basically two father figures in my life and Josiah has figured this out. The other day he asked me..."Daddy when am I going to get my second Daddy?" The jury is out on this one, I guess he should talk to Mommy.

Monday, November 27, 2006

thank you...

I started this blog as a draft a few weeks ago. Deleted the whole thing and pitched it. Thought it was kind of cheesy, with the time of year and stuff like that. After this weekend, I had an epiphany, thought to myself, "Self you need to finish that." I have several blogs that I have started and have not finished. This one just has been kind of staring at me. I was sitting in church this past Sunday, when they were talking about what you teach your children to say after someone does something for them. Which is funny, 'cause that is what my blog was about...
We coach them to say "Thank you." Every good parent does it, "Now (plug in your child's name), what do you say to Grandma for giving you that great big scoop of sugar..." Then there is part of you that is as proud as a peacock when they do it, and when they do it on their own, its like getting another Patch in Boy or Girl Scouts. Putting another feather in the parenting hat. My child says "please" and "thank you." They are so polite. It does make you feel good as a parent when this happens. Repetition is the best learning tool. Now I know these are just children, but how sincere are they? Depending on the age, but truth be told most children just go through the motions. I know if I say "Please" and "Thank you," it improves my chances of getting what I want. Wow, that must mean that those are some powerful words, if a child can figure that out. Three simple words that improve your chances of getting people to do something for you.
As adults, where and when did we lose this thing that every good parent tries to teach their children. We grow up and become adults and forget the power of these words. We get all high and mighty and think the world revolves around us. No one else has problems or had a bad day. I love to detail cars, I find it relaxing. Its my release, yard work to some or hot bath to another. I love to wax and clean cars. It takes a lot of time to fully detail a car properly. I used to like (B.C. before children) detailing friends and family members cars when they were out of town or let me borrow it for the day. I have spent countless hours of my life doing that. That fraction of a second it takes them to simply say "Thank you," makes up for all the hard work. Two words and a fraction of a second equal to the hours I have spent, doesn't seem right? But it works. I know they genuinely appreciated it. So how much more, for just the mundane tasks of everyday life. That is something I enjoy, but what about scrubbing the toilet? People do that. Not that I am looking for thanks for every single petty thing I do, but people need just a bit of appreciation in their lives.
I think of all that it takes for me to get through just one day. One single day. Think about it. Without everyone around you, your day would be so different. People you have never met, never talked to and never knew existed. Everytime I flush the toilet, turn up the thermostat, power up my computer, stop at the gas station for gas or buy a cup of coffee. There are people that work at the water and sewer plant, at the power plant, deliver fuel, open up the store and make the coffee. All before 08:00, these people have effected my life. Now if my toilet didn't flush this morning because of no water pressure, or my computer didn't turn on because I had no power. All of a sudden I realize these people exist, and suddenly they are not on my favorites list. They don't get recognized until something goes wrong.
I am just an average Joe. Nobody special in the big global scale. I just do not understand this air of supremacy that some people have. There are a lot of people that make this world operate, and we humans are not the ones that make it go around. You can be Mr or Mrs Bigshot, hold a match outside and from 1000 feet up in the sky you don't look any different than anybody else. Say "Thank you" or "Please" to someone today for even the most trivial of tasks and mean it. If I ever meet you, I hope I remember to say "Please" and "Thank You" and if I do, please understand, I actually do mean it. Children have it right. Say "please" and "thank you," writing on the walls is ok and peas are more fun to play with than eat.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

happy birthday baby girl...

Today is November 8th. Generally, I am not to good with knowing what day it is. Today is a very special day. Ranking up there in the annals of history: July 4th 1776, May 8th 1945 (VE day), August 21 1999 (the first game back for the Cleveland Browns) & November 8th 2004. This day will be etched in my memory forever. The day I held quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen for the first time. Our baby girl was born today.

It is so hard to believe that she is going to two. Its funny that I already have regrets about not being around enough for her first year or so. Fortunately I have been able to be around a lot more this past year. It has been wonderful. Nothing I love more than coming home and she comes running to the door with a smile... "Dada, Dada." I love it, she doesn't care what kind of day I have had, she is always looking forward to seeing me, and she just wants to be held. The other day she was at a friends house, and I went to pick her up. She sprinted across the yard (or at least as fast as her little legs could go) saying my name. When I picked her up I got the biggest hug and she said "My Dada, my dada." Then she pats me on the back of my neck and hugs me again. There is nothing in this world you could buy to give you that kind of joy. Not a thing. Its like time stops.

People like to give me a hard time, because I know some day she will be asking to go on a date. I am scared. Because the days are numbered to that fateful day that I will have to put the fear of the Great God Almighty into some unsuspecting young lad. I joke that every milestone is just a milestone closer to that day. I hope some day she does find someone to take care of her and love her almost as much as I do. (Because it is impossible for someone on this earth besides her mother that can love her that much, I guarantee it.) The way I look at it, it is great to be someone's first love. I know I wasn't my wife's, she loved her Daddy. I hope that I never let her down, because I love being her first love. I want to set the bar high, so when she does find that special someone, I know he will have to be up to the task.

Girls do amazing things to Daddys, especially if the first born was a boy(at least that makes it more noticeable). She has turned me into a bumbling idiot. She makes you lose your ability to control the english language. I make up terms of endearment that just don't make any sense. I will not type any of these because when I really think about, oh my... Look at me I am babbling again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL (yes when you are 20, you will still be my Baby Girl, so get used to it.) Daddy loves you, more.

Friday, November 03, 2006

poor kid, he's so good...

We went to our first official parent teacher conference last night. We got his report card a week ago. All A's. I was very proud of him. Josiah is a very driven, by the book kind of child. Honestly no surprise on the all A's thing. Our conference lasted all of 10 minutes and if we would not have asked a couple of questions, 5 minutes tops. She said Josiah was a leader who loved challenges. Never takes the easy route. Matter of fact she confessed that sometimes she puts Josiah in charge of some of the kids that do not mind as much. Because Josiah is a role model who will keep them in line and tell them they are doing wrong. Poor kid. I know the feeling, I am not sure this is the road I want him to go down. I have been down it. I am really proud of him. Ever see the movie, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Great movie. I sometimes feel like my childhood was like Gilbert's. Living your life to please and help everyone else that I never took time to smell the roses for myself. I always wanted to please and help everyone else. I know that is what we are supposed to do on this earth, but I just hope he doesn't become as obsessed with it as I did. Take some time for yourself, son. If you don't it will wear you out. The teacher also said he had very nice hand writting for a boy. Daddy was proud, that is what I was told through out my educational career. I never kept up with the all A's, though.

He did have an A- in art. Which I have issues with. Josiah is very talented, artistically. I really wish that I would have went for the Art Teacher thing. I have some issues with the way some people teach art. Josiah received an A- in art because he did not always follow directions. Now, if he was being disruptive in class and not following directions that way, he would deserve the grade. He received an A- because of things like he would not color something a certain color or wanted to change something just a little bit. I do not think that is the way art should be taught. You should teach the mechanics and grade on effort. Not cookie cutter art, where everything looks the same. Oh well, fighting the system.

a day and a dollar short of the white flag...

I am a dreamer. Ask my wife, it is sometimes a big problem for me. I love to dream... The way I look at it God gave us an imagination to use for a reason. I believe he gave it to us to aspire to become something useful for Him. I believe it can be used to help us get out what we perceive to be impossible situations, a key to the "I won't put more on you than you can handle." I also believe it is just there sometimes to help us escape the reality of life here on this earth. Read the book of Psalms, or what I think of as "divinely inspired imagination." I can just see David sitting there thinking of green pastures...the perfection of heaven.

When my wife and I were dating, we would occasionally go to the mall and shop, but my favorite thing was going to the HQ store. We would walk around the home store picking out things for our dream house. We had dreams of what life would be like when we were 30. Unfortunately, I don't believe we are anywhere close to some of our ideas or dreams. We have accomplished some of those dreams. Lately though, I feel the dream machine has stopped. I am confessing something that only my wife knows. When I go to sleep, I have what I call my cookie cutter dream that takes me to a place where I forget the problems of the day. I dream of a modest house on the beach... I can describe it in detail. My wife and I sitting on the porch watching the kids play on the beach. I can feel it like it is tangible. That is the latest dream. It has changed over the years. The house has varied. I also love cars, I also dream of driving my dream vehicle (flavor of the day) down a beautiful curvy road or down the coastal highway. That dream has been around since I was about 12 years old. Whenever I have problems sleeping, I imagine one of these dreams. Lately though, I have had problems slipping into my "dream." The problems of the day have been taking over. It scares me.

I feel like I am just hanging on. My life is split into segments. I can't wait until 5 p.m. so I can go home, then when I get home I can't wait until I go to bed. Then I dread waking up in the morning. Rinse, lather and repeat. That's what it feels like. I feel like I am in over my head, like the dump truck of life backed up and just dumped its load on me. I have always said that when you quit dreaming, you are dead. Figuratively speaking. Life is far from what I imagined when I was young, and seems that suddenly my days are a part of the past. No longer looking forward, but backwards wondering what happened. I wouldn't change my life with my wife and children, they are the biggest blessing to me. My children right now are my dream. I want my children to never stop dreaming. God has provided for my family and I. There were time I didn't think we would ever make it. He pulled us out, everytime. He has made us better for it. I guess I am reminded of the saying, "Want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans." I want to be like David.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

it happened!!!

I am screaming it from the roof tops...October 21, 2006 at 09:15 am, it happened. I may never remember the date or the time, but the image will be imprinted in my brain for as long as my brain is functional. I would have to say one of the top ten highlights of my life, seriously. Behind getting married, having children and nephews... one of the single greatest moments of my life. A dream come true since the day we found out we were having a boy. Josiah scored his first goal!!! I will never forget watching that ball roll in, and me bumbling like an idot. It was cool, because it was the first time I got to act like a Dad instead of a Coach. That was my boy and I wanted everybody to know it. I wanted to run out there and be the first to give him a high five and a hug, but I got control of my emotions. I didn't embarass him, as far as I know, at least I haven't seen the tape. It was just so exciting to see my child do something I used to love with so much passion and be good at it. It wasn't until later that night Josiah and I got to spend some time alone. It was really the first we got to talk about it. We were in the car just the two of us.

He brought it up first. "Daddy were you happy when I scored my goal today, did you chear?" "Sure was buddy, more than you know. I was so happy." I responded. He was quiet for a moment, "Daddy were you proud of me when I scored?" "Buddy you make me proud a lot, not just when you scored." I responded. "Daddy, it was neat when I scored, because everyone cheared, did you like scoring goals when you played?" Made me think for a second, " I sure did, I loved to score goals, you know why cause it made people happy. The people that were watching and your teamates, everyone is happy when you score." I poeticly responded. "I like scoring goals Daddy."

You know every goal he scores will be just as exciting, because he is my boy. You know what though, if he never scores another goal, this past Saturday was a day a dream came true for me, and I think it came true for a little boy, too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

not feeling like the man of the year now...

I like to think I am a pretty decent dad. I am not the worlds greatest, but I love my kids unconditionally. Sometimes though I don't feel I give them what they deserve, more of my time. Children are a gift from God, that sometimes we take for granted. If God were in front of me right now, would I give God my time, half heartedly? Children are the purest form of life on this earth. Just last night Josiah, who has been in "quarentine"because he has been running a fever, asked me to come into the room so he could read to me. We sat on the bed while he started reading, 60 minutes and 1 1/2 Dick & Jane books later, he was done. I hate to say it, but when we were done, I was kind of glad. I would love to say my heart was in it the entire 60 minutes...60 minutes of 1440 in a day. He was just asking for 1/24 of my day, around 4%. I couldn't even give him that. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but several times my mind wondered off to things that I felt I needed to do...clean the garage, run the vacuum, my back hurts. I felt pretty bad about it later. Then I check my email this morning and I get forwarded this story. Nothing like kicking a guy in the teeth while he is already down...

At the end of the article click on the link to watch the video...

The following is from an article in Sports Illustrated, makes me feel pretty lame...
"I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross- country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
“He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;” Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an institution.” But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering Department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. “No way,” Dick says he was told. “There's nothing going on in his brain.” “Tell him a joke,” Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!” And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want to do that.” Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker” who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,” Dick says. “I was sore for two weeks.” That day changed Rick's life. “Dad,” he typed, “when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!”
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon. “No way,” Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: in 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?” How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzz kill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? “No way,” he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling” he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
“No question about it,” Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century.”
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. “If you hadn't been in such great shape,” one doctor told him, “you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.” So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston , and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland , Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day. That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. “The thing I'd most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”

Thursday, October 19, 2006


on his future... We were in the car on our way back from having dinner with some friends, driving through downtown Cincinnati. Josiah loves downtown. Josiah out of no where blurts out "I know what I want to be when I grow up..." Sparking our curiousity, we asked, "What do you want to be?" "I want to be a brain surgeon." he responded. Impressed his mom and me, high aspirations at such a young age. "That would be something." I responded. Everything was quite for about a minute or two, then he asked, "What does a brain surgeon do?"

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This is Ella's first ever ism on Daddy's Blog...I am sure not to be the last. This one got me pretty good...

ownership... Ella's latest thing has been telling everyone when something is hers, by saying "mine." Not in the snotty-sort of stuck up way, just a matter of fact way. I was getting Ella out of the car seat. She showed me her cup and said "mine." I responded with a "yes." Which quickly turned this into a little game for her. She started pointing at things all around saying "mine" and I would respond with a yes or no. I was holding her while she was doing this, she turns an looks me straight in the eye and pats me on the head with her little hand and said as a matter of fact..."mine." Yes, was the answer.


fame & fortune... Josiah & I stayed late after soccer practice the other night. I have been working with him on following his shots on goal. During this little one on one session, Josiah learned how to get the ball off the ground when he was shooting on goal. I told him that if he could do that in a game, he would be scoring a lot of goals. He responded, "If I score a lot of goals, then I could be in a magazine..."

hierarchy... The world generally revolves around whatever a 5 year old is thinking about at any given moment...Josiah asked for something from me the other day...I firmly responded with a "no." He looked up at me and said, "I am telling God on you." Bypassing me and going straight for the Boss.

prayer and supplication... Josiah has been bugging us for the new Larry Boy movie, since it came out. The two of us were in Wal Mart, he found the movie and they only had 3 copies left. He begged me and I told him no. (See the theme here). He was ok with it until we got to the check out and got a bit sad about it, he thought that the 3 that were left were the last 3 in the world. Mommy took him to the store and he asked for the same thing. This time on the way home he asked her when he could get the new movie. Mommy said she did not know. Then things grew quiet in the back for a pretty long time. Mommy turned around to find Josiah with his hands folded, eyes closed and him whispering. When he stopped she asked what he was doing. "Praying for God to make a way for me to get the new Larry Boy movie." ---Grandma bought him the new movie this past week when they were visiting.

Friday, September 29, 2006

a little deep...

I want to start this off by saying, "I love my Mom & the mother of my children with all my heart." With that being said, I would like to dive into a small peeve of mine. I love my children just as much as my wife does. I understand that there is a bond between mother & child that no man can truly understand, but there is also a wonderful joy for a man to see someone he loves so deeply to have the joy of having a child. The miracle of life. I know this isn't always the case for most couples out there, which is what really bothers me. When my wife had a miscarriage, my heart broken that we were not having a child. There are men out there that could care less about their children, just as there are women who feel the same, but why is it that the man always gets the bad rap when it comes to children. I know there are men out there that don't deserve to be fathers and women who don't deserve to be mothers. Why is it that the woman always gets the benefit of the doubt. These feminist say that its the woman's body and that she has the choice. What really bothers me is that she has the choice, but the man has to live with the consequences of that choice. Last time I checked it takes two to tango. The woman can chose not to have the child, even if the man wants it and he has to live with it. If she has the child, the man has to pay child support to support the child. Please, I am so very against abortion. Children are a gift from the Creator, that need to be treated as such. That is not the issue I am trying to address. I understand that our society does tend to shortchange women in the professional world, but this is one area men definitely get the shortend of the stick. Maybe its just some of things some of my family is going through at this time that cause me to bring this up.
Side note: On a lighter note, lets talk about women's sports. I heard on the four let sports channel that some PGA women were upset about how much the PGA men get paid. The truth of the matter is that people have to be interested in your sport in order to generate revenue. This in turn translates in advertisement, sponsership, ect. Which all makes money. This money is then distributed to the players. Simple business model. A sport can be just about anything, two dudes bouncing a rubber ball in a parking lot can be fun for some people to watch, but definitely not everyone. They won't get the sponsorship dollars that the NFL gets, sorry. Women's sports unfortunately just has never caught on to the viewing public, mainly because men watch the majority of sports. My wife would think it strange if I told her,"honey I have to get home to watch the women's PGA Secret Invitational."

call your momma and daddy...

This is something that I firmly believe in. I call my mom every year on my birthday. Most of the time I call and just leave a message, thanking her for the whole birthing process. Thanks for being Mom. I also thank the Dad for allowing me to live through the teenage years. I know there are times he would have probably liked to hire a guy named Vince to work me over or send me to rest with the fishes. Wouldn't have blamed him. I think parents are like teachers in our society, not enough credit and too much criticism. Something to try, as a matter of fact it has almost become a fun sort of competition between my mom and I. Now she tries to call me first, watch out Mom, next July you are getting a call at 4 AM.

the blame game...

Welcome to these here United States, home of the free, land of the brave and where all the stupid people live. Sorry I really don't mean all of us are stupid, just some. This is a great place to be, would not want to live anywhere else. I love my country, just not every person in it. Let me clear this strange introduction up a bit. Our society is just full of people that are just plain stupid. (Josiah would correct me for saying the "s" word, it is not allowed at our house) It seems that we have raised a society of people that can not take resposibility for their own actions. We live in a sue happy world, if you are an American you know this well. Especially if you pay for any kind of insurance. The thing I find funny is that the woman that sued McDonalds because she could not hold on to her hot coffee and drive at the same time, was probably the same lady the day before complained that her coffee was to cold. We can never be happy.

Nothing in this world bugs me as much as people who blame their parents for the way their life turned out. Please, I understand that the way you are raised has a great impact on your life. This I believe to be gospel. Being a parent, now, I understand a bit better. I make mistakes daily as a parent, don't doubt that a bit. I am human, as we all are. The way I see it, if the good things out weigh the bad, then it was a sucessful day. It is the people who say, "I am this way because of my parents..." that really anoy me. Let me explain.
My parents were the greatest, in my opinion. Sure they made mistakes (the human thing), but not as many as I did as a child. They provided for me even when I more and likely didn't deserve it. They taught me how to live, love and laugh. The three important L's. Same thing with my wife's parents. They were awesome parents, not to mention they were great to me too. Our parents both struggled financially, of which we never had a clue as kids. We knew we weren't loaded, by the house we lived in and the cars we drove, but neither one of us ever fully understood the financial hardships our parents went through. God bless them for that. My wife and I had a big awakening when Josiah was born. We woke up one day and realized that we did not have a clue about money (still not sure I do). The point here is that we could both easily blame our parents for the way we treated money. After all we were emulating what they did. That would have been the easy way out, Mom & Dads fault. The way I see it, not true. The moment you recognize that you have a problem, is the moment you take ownership of that problem. It doesn't matter who, what, when or where, the moment you realize the problem, you and only you are the one that will be able to work it out. Truth. I firmly believe in Newtons 3rd Law of Planetary Motion, "for every action there is an equal and oposite reaction" Fancy scientific way of saying "you reap what you sow." Point is that we are resposible for our reactions. For you men out there, ever watch a sporting event. Things get a little heated, a guy throws a punch, and a guy throws one back. Nine times out of ten the guy who throws the second punch is the one who gets in trouble. Thats the way life is, it is about how we react. When it comes down to it, we are the only ones who control the way we react. So why is it that we blame some else? Because, we are selfish. Plain and simple.

I love you all, especially my parents and my wife's parents for raising us up right...thank you.

Friday, September 22, 2006

couple of funny kid things...

These didn't come from our kids but I thought they were pretty funny...

I will preface this story by saying, hair on the top of my head is a hot commodity. A few sundays back my wife and I had to teach the kindergarten sunday school class. After watching one of the boys dancing around holding himself, I drew the short straw and had to take him to the boys room. I was patiently waiting by the sink, when he got done washing his hands, I handed him a towel. He stood there looking at me kind of puzzled, then said " Your hair hasn't come in yet."

My wife teaches a 3 year old pre-school class. She has a few Chinese children in her class that do not speak very good English. One of them was really excited because when he got home he was going to get to watch T.V.. So the boy told one of his friends, "I am going to get to watch English T.V. when I get home, do you have an English T.V.?" His friend answered, "No, we have a black one."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

life at that very moment couldn't be better...

I was on my way home from Columbus the other day, and I got a call from my wife. She said that Josiah was out in the street. We live on a cul-de-sac, so traffic is not an issue in our neighborhood, but the rule is still no playing in the street. So I was a little puzzled as to why my wife was letting him play in the street. She told me he was riding his bike in circles around the island at the end of our street, and then was jumping his bike of the curb when he was coming back into the driveway. Let me preface the rest of the story by saying that I love bicycling, but since the kids, I have kind of given it up. Josiah has been practicing in the back yard. Unfortunately, the sad part is I missed his first time riding on the street with no help. I am telling you though, I couldn't get home fast enough. As soon as I got home, just Josiah and myself went outside, I sat down on the curb and just watched him make no fewer than twenty trips around the circle. Watching that was honestly better than any sporting event I have ever attended, and I have been to some great ones.

I just think it amazing how things like that can have such a strange effect on me as a parent. I have been coaching Josiah's soccer team, which has been a dream of mine since we found out we were having a boy. I find myself getting choked up a bit when he steals a ball or takes of down the field on a breakaway. For a brief second, I get a lump in my throat, shortness of breath and it gets tough to spit out any words. I get excited for him. I can remember what it was like riding my bike with no training wheels for the first time (without getting hurt) and scoring my first goal in soccer. It is just great to see your kids have the same experiences. I am sure when Josiah scores his first goal, I will be letting everyone know about it. If he doesn't, it doesn't matter, but I am sure I will still get that lump in my throat.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Josiahisms continued...

Josiah on God's Age... Josiah was asking questions about age again. This seems to be a very common question, or at least anything dealing with numbers. We have had the discussion about the word infinity before. Josiah was talking about the age of God the other day, he really wanted us to attach a number to it. So we had the discussion about in infinity again, no beginning and no end. I made references to space and he came back with the Buzz Lightyear "to infinity and beyond..." He could grasp the the no end part, little difficulties with the no beginning, but he really thought we should still be able to attach a number to God's "age." I told him "God doesn't have an age like we do." "Daddy" he said, "God is zero." "Why is that?" I asked. "Because zero really isn't a real number." he said.

Friday, September 15, 2006

that's what its all about...

Well I am back to this blog thing again. Josiah had his first trip to the hospital. Both Ella and Josiah's first trips to the hospital they both split the old noodle open...they are definitely my kids. I have a great track record of busting up my head, the thing is just so big. I got the phone call that he had fallen at school and split open his head and that it was pretty bad. Not the words you really want to hear. Fortunately my wonderful bride was still at the school. So Mommy was there for the initial shock factor. Blood everywhere, nice. After I got over the anxiety on my way to the car to fly home meet them at home, so we could take him to the emergency room, the thought actually crossed my mind "hope he didn't get much blood on the school uniform, those shirts are expensive." Now mind you I am not proud of that. That's why I actually confessed that thought, and this is the foundation of my blog today. (Nice transition, I know...)

From the day we found that the stick had the appropriate number of lines to confirm our fears and joy, my perspective has changed a bit. Think of all the little bumps and bruises, heartache, sleepless nights and fears you had a child, we all have lists of stories. Everyday, for Josiah and Ella is one of those days that something like that could happen. My wife and I are the spectators. How our parents must have felt, the trips to the Emergency Room, getting up in the middle of night to take of bad dreams and coughs and sleepless nights. I know now. It breaks your heart, it truly stinks to see your child in pain, but it helps make them who they will become. Everything is just a little stepping stone. The part as a parent I don't like, is that you have to be the strong one. Truth be known, I am a big softie. Grown men do the way. When Josiah was on the table getting ready to get his stitches, 4 right in the eye brow, which is now swollen to the size of ping pong ball, he asked to hold my hand. I choked up a bit and gave him the normal words of encouragement. I had to put a hold on my emotions while I was watching the Doctor put in the stitches. He was a trooper until the last one. You could tell it hurt. The look of fear and pain on his face indelibly marked in my mind. He is okay and survived his first major stepping stone. Mommy didn't fair to well, she came as close to passing out with out going over. The Doctor was worried more about her than Josiah.
Funny thing about this whole episode, in retrospect I enjoyed this time with our son. I'm not some sicko. Let me explain. My wife and I learned that our son talks just as much when he is in pain than when he feels fine. This experience opened up Josiah to ask questions about Mommy and Daddy's accidents. At one point we were all alone in the Emergency room, the three of us showing off each others scars. He was intently listening to all of Mommy and Daddy's stories. Josiah showing us all his playground scars. At one point I was just sitting by his bed, he was just talking about some incident with one of his little scars and I had an epiphany. I could see clearly, nothing matters but what those little people think of you. When they look back on life, the material things, the toys and house and cars, kids really don't see wealth or status. They can see your true intentions. The number one thing they remember is the time spent. Whether it be having fun or in the hospital. Kids are smarter than we give them credit, sometimes. One of the fondest moments I ever had with my step-Dad was when he took me to the emergency room after I had hurt my hand playing soccer. (I know you are not supposed to use your hands...) I was a senior in high school and he took me to the emergency room at 11:00 at night. He had to get up for work at 3:30 in the morning. I just remember sitting in the waiting room, he was sitting in the chair and I was thinking he must really love me.

Its the number of "I Love you's", unconditional hugs, time spent playing and simply holding their hand that's what its all about. Not going out and buying them the latest toy or DVD. That stuff fades. They still remember "stuff", but when they get older they remember time spent not money. Maybe I'm just some sappy old guy with a couple of kids that have me wrapped around their little fingers, if thats the case...I like where I'm livin.

Friday, September 08, 2006

this drives me crazy...

I hope I am not the only one bothered by this, but when you run a spell check before you post your blog, it always flags the word BLOG as mispelled. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

advice is like...

I have always thought that whenever someone asks me what I think about whatever it they are asking me about, my opinion is just that an opinion. Take it or leave it. I will not be offendend if you hate it or love it. No harm no foul. I won't be offended by what you think of my opinion and conversely don't be offended by my opinion. Opinions are like moms, everyone has or had one. Just for giggles (I can actually think of better ways of spending my time, but for this exercise just run with me), go through a book store or library. There are more self help and instruction manuals than any other kind of book out there. From how to have perfect children to how time the dual carbs on a vintage Porsche 912. Funny thing is, everyone has had someone raise them (I know not all of us have been fortunate enough to own a vintage Porsche), but my point is if we all sat down and talked about our parents parenting, each had there own very different style. We all survived. There a just so many different perspectives on everything.

Advice is like a drug, not that its addictive, but it has different side effects for different people. So I think that when people take advice from someone else it is that persons responsibility to weed out what works for them and what does not. I generally know how to make my son respond, you know light a spark under his bottom when I need him to be motivated. Most parents know these little tricks. What motivates my son is going to be different than what motivates your son. Thats just the way it is. So I can not judge what you do and you should not judge what I do, because we do not always know the full story. Please don't get me wrong, if I am out in the front yard beating my children with in an inch of their life with a baseball bat, go ahead judge me and beat me with railroad tie. I guess what I am trying to say is that humans have so many different things thrown at us and we all have different ways of dealing with issues. Take a little advice and try it, if it doesn't work try another "drug "and until you find the right one. Because more and likely there is not always a cure, there is just something out there you can mask the pain that just has fewer side effects.

Friday, September 01, 2006

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

I hum a wonderful tune (check out the audio on my profile), and think of this adorable face.LETS GO BLUE!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: you will love this its funny

I generally do not forward emails unless they are absolutely hilarious. This one is an email that was forwarded to me by one of my favorite customers. She sent it to me, then I put a few notes on it and sent it back. I just thought this went well with my last blog, so I figured I would post it. It helps prove my last point pretty well. Everything in regular type is the original email, my comments are in the small bold script. This is good for both sexes, enjoy.

so we can have a 4 on 4 basketball game after class
Class 1 How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
it is ok to leave just one cube in the tray, we are optimistic and still see things as partially full, not empty.
Class 2 The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself?Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.
Why change the toilet paper, there is usually a box of tissues on the back of the seat.
Class 3 Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat andAvoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.
Women are just jealous that we can go anywhere and write things in the snow.
Class 4 Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor ---Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.
We like it when the clothes on the floor, that means we are in the mood.
Class 5 After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginningat 7:00 PM
It is easier to locate a glass when you leave next to your favorite chair.
Class 6 Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM
We don't like those bonnet wearing, mushy Lifetime channel movies
Class 7 Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right PlacesAnd Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.Open Forum .
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.
This one I don't have an answer for.
Class 8 Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
Every time we do something like this you give us the third degree and drill us for the next week on what we did wrong.
Class 9 Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.
Women always ask for directions because they don't know how to fold the map.
Class 10 Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.
It's not that hard to parallel park, and the way we see a guy can hit a 100mph fast ball with a wooden stick and 40,000 people yelling at him.
Class 11 Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.Online Classes and role-playing .
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined
Women are the way they are because their Daddys gave them everything they wanted and called them Princess, no body ever points that out.
Class 12 How to be the Ideal Shopping CompanionRelaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
Solution to this problem is never go shopping when a sporting event is on.
Men know the schedules for all sporting events, channel and times, just ask.
Class 13 How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy --- Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates, Calling When You're Going To Be Late.Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
Put our calendar in a TV guide format
Class 14 The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used.Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.
Why use an oven when we paid some much for the microwave.
The oven is only good for baking metal items we have spray painted in the garage.